||Sheila credits her new smile - and optimism - to the support team she's created at Lowell CHC.
A mother, grandmother, and former nurse, Sheila knew what it meant to care for others.
At Lowell CHC, she learned to care for herself.
Sheila is no stranger to the doctor's office. Juggling numerous chronic health conditions including diabetes, arthritis, and anxiety left her feeling overwhelmed.
"I was constantly in and out of the hospital," she shares. "Losing my husband at a young age - and then my mother - I went through a lot of struggles."
All of those struggles took a toll on her spirit - and her health. Now, with renewed confidence - and her support team here at Lowell CHC - Sheila's smile is bigger than ever. "You've given me a second chance," she says.
Sheila credits her dedicated Lowell CHC care team for this new outlook. They helped her connect the dots between her complex health needs. "I can really talk to them - tell them how I feel. It's really helped me open myself up to the world."
She really found her stride by participating in Lowell CHC's chronic disease self-management support group, made possible with
generous funding from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation and our new partnership with Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.
"This group - it helps me feel like I'm not alone. I love it. It's helped me see how small changes have a big impact. It's all about baby steps."
Just a few short weeks after joining the group, Sheila began seeing positive results. "I'm eating healthier, gravitating towards fruits and whole grains. I feel less anxious. And I'm exercising more too," she says.
"My friends and family keep asking what's changed -
I just can't stop smiling!"
The biggest reward has come in 2 smaller packages: her grandchildren.
"They are 5 and 7 and they mean the world to me.
But, I used to feel so tired and depressed, I just didn't have the energy. Now, we can really enjoy our time together - they keep me young!"
With determination, strength, and a smile that lights up the room, Sheila is an inspiration to her family, friends, and all of us here at Lowell CHC.
"It's changed my life - this is my second chance," she says
This place is the best thing that has ever happened to Lowell - I am so blessed."